Manipulation of Art in Britain 1968-2015
Lynda Morris Lecture Friday 17 July 2015
At a symposium in Birmingham in 2014 a major British Curator, who now works in New York, said:
It may take many decades, if not longer, for Britain to recover from the manipulation of the Art Market caused by Young British Artists (yBas).
I have been thinking about this ever since and I have to go back over almost five decades to recover the story.
I have been fond of saying I would like a PhD student to work on a thesis that would be called: One curator, four museums over four decades and four art dealers. I have tried to write this myself, most recently in the essay Genuine? in the publication The New Economy of Art 2014 by DACS. It was launched at the House of Commons, on the cover is Jeremy Deller’s commission of a wall painting for the 2013 Venice Biennale of William Morris throwing Roman Abramowitz’s luxury yacht, like a dart - or a medieval lance.
I am starting to think that my argument in that essay was a bit naive. You cannot just blame museum curators, when the entire phenomenon of contemporary art has become such a close bedfellow of Capitalism as the largest unregulated market.
Is it too much to hope that the multitude of artists in towns and cities throughout the world, can organise themselves to disrupt the value systems on which our increasingly valueless culture is based?
Professor Lynda Morris
Norwich Studio Art Gallery
The Past, Present and Future.